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Posts Tagged ‘toyota pedal recall’

Toyota Recalls Another 2.17 Million Vehicles

February 25th, 2011

Toyota can’t catch a break, announcing that they are voluntarily recalling another 2.17 million of its vehicles because of possible pedal-to-floormat interference.

The recall covers the following models:

2003-2009 Toyota 4Runner (603,000 units)

4runner

2004-2006 Toyota Highlander and Highlander Hybrid (397,000 units)

highlander

2006-2010 Toyota RAV4 (761,000 units)

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2008-2011 Lexus LX 570 (17,000 units)

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2006-2007 Lexus GS 300 and 350 all-wheel-drive models (20,000 units)

 

2004-2007 Lexus RX 330, 350 and 400h (372,000 units)

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If you own one of these vehicles, discontinue use of the driver-side floor mat. Notices will automatically be sent to the owners of these vehicles, but if you need clarification or have questions or concerns, contact your local Toyota or Lexus dealership.

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Driver Error To Blame For Sudden Acceleration?

July 13th, 2010

Breaking news here concerning Toyota’s massive recall of over 8 million vehicles earlier this year:  the pedal controversy which plagued the Japanese automaker is not over. The Wall Street Journal is reporting that the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) analyzed the data recorders pulled from vehicles which had been in accidents due to “unintentional acceleration”. The findings are, for lack of a better word, shocking.

The data screams out the obvious: the throttle (gas pedal) was wide open WITHOUT having the brake pedal actuated. Apparently, the drivers were actually flooring the gas pedal as opposed to stepping on the brake pedal, a mistake that believe-it-or-not happens from time to time.

Remember the San Diego man who couldn’t slow his Prius down?  Or the incident where the driver of a Prius mysteriously drove into a convenience store?  At the time, it sounded like a scene straight out of The Happening

This doesn’t totally pardon Toyota from the recall, however. Issues with the CTS accelerator sticking in addition to getting caught under the floormat are still valid (and for the most part, fixed with the recall).  It will be interesting to see what happens next.  Stay tuned.

[source: Wall Street Journal]

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Did the Pedal Fix Really Work?

March 4th, 2010

Amid several complaints (13 to be almost exact), Federal safety regulators have been notified that the post-pedal fix aimed at solving the problem of unintentional acceleration might not have done the job.

Many believe that the problem with the sudden acceleration found in some Toyota models is not mechanical, but rather electronic.  In the Senate hearing on Tuesday, Toyota executives stated that the initial solution fixed all known unintended acceleration problems.

The vehicle’s electronic throttle control system, aka, “drive-by-wire”, has been suggested as the culprit, but Toyota’s statement on the issue disputes that claim.

Only time will tell if the complaints fall on reasonable grounds for a more thorough analysis.  Stay tuned.

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Consumer Reports Prepared to Reinstate Toyota Ratings

March 4th, 2010

check-mark_943With every bushel of bad news, grains of good news are sure to follow.  Toyota’s 2010 Prius claimed the #1 spot on Japan’s vehicle sales list, followed closely by the 2010 Honda Fit.  During the height of Toyota’s recall woes, it came as no surprise when Consumer Reports decided to temporarily revoke the “Recommended” status they initially awarded all eight pedal recall-affected Toyota models.

With the congressional hearings still under way, it remains to be seen what repercussions are in store for the automaker, but the editors at Consumer Reports are prepared to reinstate the previous ratings for Toyota models if the hearings end favorably and the recall fixes remain on track. That iconic check mark placed next to vehicles earning the prestigious nod of approval from editors and consumers means a whole lot.  This could be the first big step towards Toyota’s recovery.

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Toyota To Implement Brake-Override System in Future Models

February 17th, 2010

4836672_e7250a908fEarlier this morning, Toyota President Akio Toyoda announced that all future Toyotas will include a brake-override system which will basically disengage power transferred from the engine to the transmission when BOTH the accelerator and brake pedal are simultaneously pushed.  What’s good about this is that the auxiliary systems like the brakes and steering will still function normally, allowing the driver to safely steer and slow the car down.   From the outset, this seemed like a simple enough fix for a complex problem.

Our Take

In emergency situations, we still believe that a more intuitive approach is the best approach, period.   Placing the “off” button  next to the “power/on” button on the dashboard of every Toyota would have been better, though it’s probably not the most cost-effective solution.

The reasoning is that people are more apt to look for and/or push an “off” button for something that is on.  Detractors of the solution will argue that most devices like televisions and computers only have one button, serving as both the “on” and “off” button.  But then again, we’ve never had to turn a TV or PC on or off in an emergency that involved our life…

Do you agree?  We want to hear what you think.  Post a comment below.

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